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How to Beat the Heat in Asia How Leaders Will Collaborate to Combat Climate Change

How to Beat the Heat in Asia How Leaders Will Collaborate to Combat Climate Change

According to the National Climate Change Secretariat, the annual mean temperature in Singapore rose from 26.9 degrees Celsius to 28.0 degrees Celsius between 1980 and 2020, but the social and economic effects of a changing climate are far greater and extend well beyond our shores.

Climate change will be a topic of discussion at the World Economic Forum's Special Annual Meeting 2021, which will be held in Singapore in August. This will be one of the first global leadership summits to discuss the complexities of emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic while also setting the groundwork for a more inclusive and prosperous future. Policies that address the effects of climate change would be a critical component of any response.

Rising heat and humidity levels are one of the most severe of these effects. If left unchecked and unabated, this will have a negative effect on our bodies, as well as our livelihoods, infrastructure, and economy. Climate change adaptation and mitigation is a pressing issue in our time.

Between 500 million and 700 million people in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India could face lethal heat waves on an annual basis of 20% by 2050. Chronic rises in heat and humidity in parts of India may result in the loss of up to 30% of annual daylight hours available for work.

Rising heat and humidity levels are one of the most severe of these effects. If left unchecked and unabated, this will have a negative effect on our bodies, as well as our livelihoods, infrastructure, and economy. Climate change adaptation and mitigation is a pressing issue in our time.

In general, we find that Asia is more vulnerable than other parts of the world in several respects. By 2050, Asia, which accounts for more than two-thirds of global GDP, would be at risk of losing productive outdoor working hours due to increased heat and humidity. By 2050, up to 1.2 billion people may be living in areas with a non-zero annual risk of lethal heat waves, with the vast majority in Asia, under a high emissions scenario.

Singapore, like other cities in the area, is affected not only by rising temperatures in general, but also by the urban heat island effect. When we replace natural cover with pavements and houses, these absorb and retain heat, resulting in far higher temperatures in the city than in the surrounding countryside.

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The urban heat island effect has been verified by recent studies in major Asian cities such as Bangkok and Jakarta. Increasing urbanisation in Asia is leading to a rise in the size and number of urban heat islands. The night time temperature in some cities can be up to 7 degrees Celsius higher than the surrounding areas.

Singapore has made it a strategic policy to mitigate the impact of heat since its inception. Air conditioning, according to former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, was the most significant innovation of the twentieth century because it enabled workers in hot climates to be as efficient as those in cooler climates. It's time to think of new ways to keep cool.

City in Nature is the first pillar of Singapore's Green Plan 2030, which was revealed this year. It is a large-scale effort to reduce carbon emissions by planting one million trees and reserving 1,000 hectares of green space, 200 of which will be new nature parks.

Singapore will take a regional lead in climate adaptation infrastructure innovation and by investing in climate mitigation initiatives through renewable investment and sustainability funds, owing to its strengths as both an R&D and financial hub. One example is Decarbonisation Partners, a new investment firm established by Temasek and BlackRock this month.

The combination of technology, finance, and leadership serves as a blueprint for how we can collaborate to develop new approaches to adapting to, mitigating, and managing climate risks in our area and around the world. We can go from feeling the heat to beating the heat by building on ongoing efforts and rallying support at events like the World Economic Forum.